Stephen King: The policy to print money is right but we must be told how it works

There is something wonderfully quirky about the way in which a major change in monetary arrangements is announced in the UK. Not for us a detailed paper outlining the new monetary process, the intermediate and ultimate measures of success, the longer-term implications and the possible exit strategies. Instead, we get an exchange of letters. Next time, perhaps we'll get a postcard: "Dear Chancellor ... having a wonderful time although weather cloudy ... have come across this thing called a printing press ... looks great, but must be used carefully ... love Merv xx."

Stephen King: As capitalism stares into the abyss, was Marx right all along?

We may avoid a 1930s Depression but the best we can hope for may be a 1990s Japan

Stephen King: Let's admit that rate cuts will not end the crisis, printing money will

Chugger chugger chugger chugger"... yes, it's the sound of the printing press. With UK interest rates down to 1 per cent and US interest rates at zero, it's no longer possible to pretend that rate cuts alone will bring this economic crisis to an end. In the monetary sphere, something else needs to be done. Central bankers can no longer be content merely focusing on the price of money: in real, inflation-adjusted terms, they no longer have any influence. They also need to act on the quantity of money.

Stephen King: Roquefort cheese dispute may be first whiff of a return to financial nationalism

As a symbol of the growing protectionist backlash, it’s hard to beat the protests in the UK last Friday. Repeating Gordon Brown’s pledge to create “British jobs for British workers,” the protesters demanded protection against foreign workers in the construction industry.

Stephen King: The Bank of England needs to look back – and think the unthinkable

On 24 October 1930, a report from the British government's Economic Advisory Council was circulated by Ramsay MacDonald, the Prime Minister, to his Cabinet. The Economic Advisory Council consisted of the great and the good of the economics profession, and was chaired by John Maynard Keynes. Its terms of reference were "to review the present economic condition of Great Britain, to examine the causes ... and to indicate the conditions of recovery."

Stephen King: Bank of England was powerless in the face of excessive credit growth

Rationing is associated with the Second World War, austerity Britain in the late 1940s and early 1950s and, for those familiar with Moscow pre-Glasnost, the empty shelves of GUM, the Soviet Union's leading, but mostly empty, department store in the 1970s and 1980s. Rationing has, though, made a spectacular return. You won't see it in the shops, or online, or on the forecourts of used car dealers. In financial markets, though, it's all the rage.

Stephen King: You can't buy confidence when the economy is in a state of collapse

'In the bleak midwinter ... " Britain's weather may be distinctly chilly at the moment, but its economic climate is a lot frostier. And unlike the weather, there's no escape. Economically, it's hard to find sunnier climes elsewhere in the world.

Stephen King: First the Chinese accumulated dollars, now everyone is joining the stampede

What caused the crisis? For some, the story is simple. It’s all about global imbalances.

Stephen King: In rush to embrace Keynes, are we forgetting the vital role of markets?

There are moments in any economic cycle when one's worst fears are confirmed. Friday's US employment release provided one of those occasions. Those who were hanging on to the belief that, somehow, there was a disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street will have to think again.

Stephen King: Bernanke's blueprint for dealing with the horrors of debt deflation

In late-2002, Ben Bernanke, now the chairman of the Federal Reserve, gave a speech entitled "Deflation: Making Sure 'It' Doesn't Happen Here". Then, Mr Bernanke was merely a Fed Governor and had yet to make his way to the very summit of the central banking profession. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that the thoughts expressed in that speech are thoughts which, once again, are very relevant.

Stephen King: If interest rate cuts cannot solve the money shortage, turn on the printing press

As people hoard money, so output weakens and prices fall, as in the 1930s

Stephen King: Another British currency crisis – it's enough to make you feel nostalgic

Stick your head out of the window, inhale deeply, and enjoy the sweet, yet sickly, scent of nostalgia. It's everywhere. On a Saturday night, you can settle down in front of the television to watch the X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing, throwbacks to the days of Opportunity Knocks, New Faces and the BBC's Seaside Special. You can bask in the reflected glory of our summer Olympians who won the most British medals since the 1908 Olympics when the tug o' war was, apparently, taken rather seriously. Or you can look at sterling's sudden collapse and think of the seemingly countless occasions when Britain's economic prospects were undone as a result of a currency crisis.

Stephen King: Creditor nations may be looking to pick up some corporate silverware

In one sense, next Saturday's G20 meeting in Washington comes too early. George Bush is still in the White House, even though he no longer sets America's economic agenda. Barack Obama, the man who will set the agenda, won't really be able to do much of substance until 20 January and, according to reports, has no intention of being anywhere other than Chicago next weekend. Nevertheless, the world's financial system is in crisis. Even if the US administration is impotent, it is better to establish some form of international dialogue. Or we could find ourselves hurtling towards protectionism.

Stephen King: Sometimes the economic beauty contest gets us into an ugly mess

Given Alan Greenspan's dose of the doubts last week, at what level should we trust markets? The strongest defence is, surely, the idea that markets provide the best single way of allocating the world's scarce resources. Unfettered capitalism, on this view, is desirable because it potentially makes all of us better off.

Stephen King: Memo to Gordon... think radical and dump the Bank's inflation target

Whisper it quietly, but it's just possible that the Bank of England's inflation target contains a fatal flaw.

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